Ingrown toenails occur when the corner or side of your toenail digs into your skin. That often leads to an infection and can cause a significant amount of pain. When an ingrown toenail first forms, it may be hard, swollen, or tender. As it progresses, it may show signs of infection, including becoming red and sore.
If left untreated, ingrown toenails can lead to skin growing over your ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenails, also called onychocryptosis, are usually caused from trimming your toenails too short or rounding the corners of your nail. They occur most often on the big toes. Although not as common, other causes of ingrown toenails include:
Some people may be more prone to developing ingrown toenails due to hereditary factors or poor foot structure.
If you’re experiencing your first ingrown toenail, Dr. Griffin may recommend trying to treat it at home. In many cases, you can reverse the ingrown toenail with few complications. He may suggest:
If your ingrown toenail is showing signs of infection, such as being red or swollen, Dr. Griffin may prescribe an antibiotic.
If your ingrown toenail is severe, or if you’ve attempted home remedies with no relief, Dr. Griffin may need to remove part of it surgically.
When your ingrown toenails don’t get better with at-home treatments, Dr. Griffin may recommend a partial nail plate avulsion (removal). This in-office, surgical procedure removes the part of your toenail which has grown under the skin
First, Dr. Griffin administers an anesthetic. Once your toe is numb, he cuts out the ingrown part of your toenail, relieving the pressure and pain it causes.
This procedure is done right at the Coastal Foot Center and doesn’t require visiting a hospital or outpatient facility. The procedure requires at least one additional appointment for post-op care.
More commonly, Dr. Griffin may perform a partial phenol matrixectomy. During this procedure, he not only removes the edge of your toenail that’s growing into your flesh, but he applies phenol to the matrix (root) of the nail, cauterizing it. This permanently destroys the area of toenail that grows into the skin.
Like a partial nail plate avulsion, this is an in-office procedure that Dr. Griffin does under local anesthesia.
If ingrown toenails are causing you pain, seek the help of a professional. Contact board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Griffin, today to schedule your initial consultation. Call to book your appointment or do it easily online.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!